Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Eye Doc Accused of Plotting to Kill Partner

SEATTLE (CN) - An eye surgeon whom the FBI accused of soliciting the Russian Mafia to kill his business partners took $100,000 from a corporate account to pay for his defense and has ruined the clinic's reputation, according to a complaint filed by one of the intended victims. Dr. Michael Mockovak is being held on $2 million bail, charged with two counts of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder. The case has made headlines in Seattle since Mockovak was arrested on Nov. 16.

Prosecutors say Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye clinics, hatched a plan to murder his business partner and former brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph King, for insurance money. He also allegedly plotted to kill Clearly Lasik's former president Brad Klock because Klock had filed a wrongful termination suit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Mockovak asked a Russian employee who worked at the clinic if he had any mob contacts who could "resolve his problem," according to charging documents. The employee contacted the FBI, which began recording Mockovak's conversations.

(Attached to the 10-page complaint in King County Court are 18 pages of charging documents from The State of Washington v. Michael Emeric Mockovak; a Certification for Determination of Probable Cause from the Seattle Police Department and the FBI; and the Prosecuting Attorney's Case Summary.)

Mockovak allegedly gave the informant a picture of King for the "hit man" and said he wanted the murder to look like a drowning during King's vacation to Australia, but he "probably needed the body found for insurance purposes," charging papers say. Mockovak called King a "motherfucker" and said he "had it coming," according to the charging papers.

Mockovak gave the informant $10,000 cash and said he would launder the remaining $15,000 for the murder "to make it look like an Internet purchase of an expensive item on his credit card," prosecutors say.

In a recorded conversation, the informant says Mockovak was probably "gonna be the first person to charge a murder on a credit card," and Mockovak "laughed heartily," the charging papers say.

King and his family, who live a few blocks away from Mockovak, are "living in an area hotel, fearing for their safety," according to charging documents.

King sued Mockovak on behalf of the King and Mockovak Eye Center and Clearly Lasik, companies co-owned by both men.

King says Mockovak breached his fiduciary duty by using company money to pay for his legal fees in the murder-for-hire plot and "the effect of this withdrawal is that Dr. Mockovak's intended victim, Dr. King, is paying for half of Dr. Mockovak's defense." The publicity has hurt company shares and "in fact the shares may have lost all value," the complaint states.

King wants Mockovak barred from company property, from communicating with employees, suppliers, customers, creditors or financial institutions and from selling corporate assets or withdrawing corporate funds. He also seeks damages for the lost value of the companies' shares.

King is represented by Kelly Corr with Corr Cronin Michelson.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.